Sunday, February 10, 2013



- the first, advanced in December of 2011 by the bishop of Astana in Kazakistan, Athanasius Schneider, is the publication on the part of the pope of a sort of new "Syllabus,” which would strike with anathemas all of the "modern-day errors";

- The second, already proposed by the theologian Brunero Gherardini to the supreme magisterium of the Church, is a “revision of the conciliar and magisterial documents of the last half century,” to be done “in the light of Tradition.”

MY COMMENTS FIRST: Are we heading toward Vatican III? The First Vatican Council met and dispersed and focused primarily on the ministry of the papacy and in a dogmatic way. The Second Vatican Council had a leisurely sojourn and presented its formulations on the complete vision of the Church not so much in a dogmatic way, although previous dogmas were indeed confirmed, but more so in a pastoral way especially as it regards ecclesiology, collegiality, single source of Revelation, ecumenism.

But because of the pastoral nature of the Council in so many areas and applying the Second Vatican Council early on (for the first 40 years or so) in a Pre-Vatican II way, especially the imposition of its pastoral sensibilities, we have seen a great polarization in the Church. Pope Benedict has begun the reform of the manner in which the reform of the Council was imposed on the Church in the 1960's and 70's especially as progressive theologians who inspired bishops to imposed in a pre-Vatican II sort a way the pastoral provisions of the Council in a dogmatized format. Pope Benedict's "reform in continuity" pleases no one except those of us in the middle who know we cannot abandon the Second Vatican Council but we can abandon the dogmatism of pastoral theology imposed on the Church in a pre-Vatican II sort of way.

Indeed the Council brought about a new way of "being Church" more pastoral and less dogmatic. But this in and of itself is not dogmatic and open to change and quite possibly by Vatican III! or the exercise of the papal magisterium in the extraordinary form.

Depending on one's perspective this is either the genius of the council or its downfall that must be changed (and could be quite easily since it isn't dogmatic in the first place):..."The scholars of progressive orientation recognize in pastoral language [of Vatican II] a decisive and distinctive innovation of the last Council. This is what has been maintained recently, for example, by the Jesuit John O'Malley in his widely-read book "What Happened at Vatican II."..."This original sin is claimed to be the abandoning of dogmatic language - proper to all of the previous councils, with the affirmation of the truth and the condemnation of errors - and its replacement with a vague new “pastoral” language."

Time will tell if the pastoral approach of the Council will be placed into its proper place, not dogmatized, but a relic of the 1960's to be abandoned as we face the godless secularism of society today and governments that are not pastoral but will impose on the Church their secular dogmatic views. Can a pastoral approach stand up to the dictatorship of secular relativism that is actually the dogmatic religion of Atheism???

And can progressives, who are more clerical and dogmatic in non-dogmatic things as they imposed their view on the Church in a pre-Vatican II sort of way, be trusted to be at the helm of the Church in this time of crisis?

The Article below (with my emphasis in bold) is copied from the blog, CHIESA, WHICH YOU CAN VIEW HERE.

The Impossible "Road Map" of Peace with the Lefebvrists

A leading representative of the traditionalist camp lays down the conditions for healing the schism. There are four of them, but three appear impracticable. Fr. Divo Barsotti's criticisms of Vatican Council II

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 9, 2013 – In a new book sent to the printing press in recent days, Professor Enrico Maria Radaelli - philosopher, theologian, and beloved disciple of one of the greatest traditionalist Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century, the Swiss Romano Amerio (1905-1997) - cites three passages taken from the unpublished diaries of Fr. Divo Barsotti (1914-2006).

In them, this brilliant and esteemed mystic and spiritual master - who in 1971 was called to preach the Lenten exercises to the pope and to the Roman curia - expressed strong criticisms of Vatican Council II.

Fr. Barsotti wrote (in 1971):

"I am perplexed with regard to the Council: the plethora of documents, their length, often their language, these frightened me. They are documents that bear witness to a purely human assurance more than two a simple firmness of faith. But above all I am outraged by the behavior of the theologians.”

"The Council is the supreme exercise of the magisterium, and is justified only by a supreme necessity. Could not the fearful gravity of the present situation of the Church stem precisely from the foolishness of having wanted to provoke and tempt the Lord? Was there the desire, perhaps, to constrain God to speak when there was not this supreme necessity? Is that the way it is? In order to justify a Council that presumed to renew all things, it had to be affirmed that everything was going poorly, something that is done constantly, if not by the episcopate then by the theologians.”

"Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in his death.”

These words of Fr. Divo Barsotti are striking in two respects.

First of all, these criticisms come from a person of profound theological vision, with the reputation of sanctity, most obedient to the Church.

And in the second place, the criticisms are not aimed against the deviations following the Council, but against the Council in itself.

They are the same two impressions that can be gathered from reading the new book by Radaelli, entitled: “The tomorrow - terrible or radiant? - of dogma.”


In Radaelli's view, the current crisis of the Church is not the result of a mistaken application of the Council, but of an original sin committed by the Council itself.

This original sin is claimed to be the abandoning of dogmatic language - proper to all of the previous councils, with the affirmation of the truth and the condemnation of errors - and its replacement with a vague new “pastoral” language.

It must be said - and Radaelli points this out - that even the scholars of progressive orientation recognize in pastoral language a decisive and distinctive innovation of the last Council. This is what has been maintained recently, for example, by the Jesuit John O'Malley in his widely-read book "What Happened at Vatican II."

But while for O'Malley and the progressives the new language adopted by the Council is judged in an entirely positive light, for Radaelli, for Roberto de Mattei, and for other representatives of traditionalist thought - as for Romano Amerio before them - pastoral language is stigmatized as the root of all evil.

According to them, in fact, the Council presumed - wrongfully - that the obedience due to the dogmatic teaching of the Church also applied to pastoral language, thus elevating to unquestionable “superdogmas" affirmations and arguments devoid of a real dogmatic foundation, about which instead it is said to be legitimate and obligatory to advance criticisms and reservations.

From the two opposed languages, dogmatic and pastoral, Radaelli sees the emergence and separation "almost of two Churches.”

In the first, that of the most consistent traditionalists, he also includes the Lefebvrists, fully “Catholic by doctrine and by rite” and “obedient to dogma,” even if they are disobedient to the pope to the point of having been excommunicated for 25 years. It is the Church that, precisely because of its fidelity to dogma, “rejects Vatican II as an assembly in total rupture with Tradition.”

He assigns to the second Church all of the others, meaning almost all of the bishops, priests, and faithful, including the current pope. It is the Church that has renounced dogmatic language and “is in everything the daughter of Vatican II, proclaiming it - even from the highest throne, but without ever setting out proof of this - in total continuity with the preconciliar Church, albeit within the setting of a certain reform.”

How does Radaelli see the healing of this opposition? In his judgment, “it is not the model of Church obedient to dogma that must once again submit to the pope,” but “it is rather the model obedient to the pope that must once again submit to dogma.”

In other words:

"It is not Ecône [editor's note: the community of the Lefebvrists] that must submit to Rome, but Rome to Heaven: every difficulty between Ecône and Rome will be resolved only after the return of the Church to the dogmatic language that is proper to it.”

In order for this goal to be reached, Radaelli presupposes two things:

- that Rome would guarantee to the Lefebvrists the right to celebrate the Mass and the sacraments exclusively according to the rite of St. Pius V;

- and that the obedience required for Vatican II would be brought back within the limits of its “false-pastoral” language, and therefore be subject to criticisms and reservations.

[MY COMMENT: THIS IS THE BOMBSHELL OF THIS ARTICLE AND IS DOABLE!]But before this culmination - Radaelli adds - two other requests would have to be granted:

- the first, advanced in December of 2011 by the bishop of Astana in Kazakistan, Athanasius Schneider, is the publication on the part of the pope of a sort of new "Syllabus,” which would strike with anathemas all of the "modern-day errors";

- The second, already proposed by the theologian Brunero Gherardini to the supreme magisterium of the Church, is a “revision of the conciliar and magisterial documents of the last half century,” to be done “in the light of Tradition.”


With the matter put this way, it is to be thought that the reconciliation between the Lefebvrists and the Church of Rome is anything other than easy and near at hand. As proven by the stall in the negotiations between the two sides, which has now lasted for many months.

But even with the traditionalists who have remained in communion with the Church - from Radaelli to de Mattei to Gherardini - the rift is getting wider. They no longer conceal their disappointment with the pontificate of Benedict XVI, in which they had initially placed some hopes. In their judgment, only a decisive return of the magisterium of the pope and the bishops to dogmatic pronouncements can bring the Church back to the right path, with the resulting correction of all of the errors propagated by the pastoral language of the Council.

Errors that Radaelli lists on a page of his book as follows, calling them “real and proper heresies”:

“Ecclesiology, collegiality, single source of Revelation, ecumenism, syncretism, irenicism (especially toward Protestantism, Islamism, and Judaism), the modification of the 'doctrine of replacement' of the Synagogue with the Church into the 'doctrine of the two parallel salvations,' anthropocentrism, loss of the last things (and of both limbo and hell), of proper theodicy (leading to much atheism as a 'flight from a bad Father'), of the meaning of sin and grace, liturgical de-dogmatization, aniconology, subversion of religious freedom, in addition to the 'dislocation of the divine Monotriad' by which freedom dethrones the truth.”

Radaelli concludes his book with an appeal to “lay down weapons” addressed both to the “innovating brethren” and to the “traditionalist brethren” (as he prefers to call them, instead of “traditionalists”).

But in a nutshell he seems to identify the hoped-for pacification with an all-encompassing victory for the Lefebvrists and for those who, like them, see themselves as the last and sole defenders of dogma.


The book:

Enrico Maria Radaelli, "Il domani - terribile o radioso? - del dogma", Edizione Aurea Domus, 2013, pp. 278, euro 35.00.

The book opens with a preface by the English philosopher Roger Scruton and with three commentaries: by Mario Olivero, bishop of Albenga-Imperia, by the theologian Brunero Gherardini; and by Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro.

It is not on sale in all bookstores. But it can be ordered directly from the website of its author:

> Aurea Domus


John said...

The time seems to have come for our Holy Father to say what went wrong. He must say that a situation of NECESSITY exists created by the various defects in the application V 2 documents over the past 50 years. Therefore, using His Petrine office he is issuing the Syllabus called for by Bishop K and others highlighting the necessary corrections.

He might call an extraordinary Synod of Bishops and present the Syllabus to them as part of the Pope's efforts celebrating the Year of Faith.

rcg said...

FrAJM, I may be misreading this article, but it seems to have a very direct conflict with you position that the errors we have experienced have resulted from the misapplication of VC-II. It seems to conclude the Council itself as flawed, in error and even sin, and the document is a testament to their error.

This is farther than I have been willing, or am competent to go, but I still believe the best that can be said about VC-II is that is is poor instruction because it allows for so much misinterpretation. The writers of these various articles and books seem to conclude this was an artifact of the Pride of the Council members. Bishop Schneider, who thought was a Cardinal, seems to go a little lighter and in your direction by hinting that a VC-II, R1 is needed. Having revised documents far less intricate and certainly less important than VC-II I think a major revision is nearly impossible without it ending in a superseding document. It also gives less time for any Smoke to delay or obscure things again.

Ann Ominous said...

There is much discussion on the internet, especially on the website of the ever-intrepid Fr. Zuhlsdorf, that continues to warn the SSPX that they are out of line and had better take what's offered to them. Hopefully, reading this might make people see their side of it too. It is impossible to see how Vatican II's implementation, at very least, is not fraught with errors. Some of the documents, like Sacrosanctum Concilium, have been outright betrayed and contradicted. The good people of the SSPX could argue that they did not leave the Catholic Church, but that the Church left them. They obviously love our pope and WANT to be part of the unsuspended fold, but they cannot, in good conscience, betray what the Church has always taught to embrace what She has only recently invented. There has been no "new springtime" because the fertilizer of Vatican II is toxic. Vatican II must be purged--not necessarily eliminated, but certainly corrected and clarified. I suspect that Pope Benedict would like to do much more toward that end, but is restricted by the "aid" of some of the wolves in the curia. God's will IS going to be done, but the waiting is painful. It's looking more and more likely that the final corrections and resolutions to the problem of Vatican II will be resolved by our next pope. I only wish we didn't have to wait so long.

ytc said...

oh god i wish all this vatican two schmatiken tew stuff would just be straightened out. it is like hearing a couple fight.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

RCG, I do think the council documents and notes of bishops regarding the council opens it up to a variety of interpretations which is all the more reason why the Magisterium has to be the spokesman for what is authentic and inauthentic about how it is interpreted and implemented. Pope Benedict has begun the process, it will continue for the next several decades.
I do agree that a sylabus of errors needs to be developed by the Holy Father (whoever it will be) and a list of herseies in the modern sense as well as critiques of how the council was implemented.

I don't think you'll ever have the Magisterium disowning an ecumenical Council--it ain't going to happen and it won't for it would call every other council into question too, like the Orthodox have done with every Council since the Great Schism.

The SSPX trying to put forward their ideologies as the most authentic and faithful to Tradition and to God is a bit to Protestant to me.

It's the Magisterium stupid!

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald, either your e-mail thinks everything you receive is spam or you are like me and hate replying to e-mails.

Gene said...

A "syllabus of errors" from Vat II...LOL! It would look like an unabridged of those you see on stands in public libraries.